How common was "homeland" as a term for the United States before 9/11?

Yes, that’s it. Thanks.

Reality outpaces any attempt at sarcasm once again!

I didn’t know the USGC went abroad. Learn something new every day…

On preview I see that I was too slow. Another obvious candidate would have been the national anthem. It’s found in the third and last stanza that is still used today.

Vaterland is one of those terms that have far more specific connotations in English than in German - like Reich (roughly: realm) or Blitz (lightning, flash) and apparently Heimat. The term is in no way restricted to Germany or fascism. It just means “the country of one’s father(s)” It can refer to any country and is used in the other German speaking countries as well. For example both Austria and Switzerland have the term in their anthems, too.

Here’s another vote for “Homeland” sounding vaguely fascist or old fashioned. Maybe Department of Domestic Security doesn’t have the same panache, or maybe someone thought the word “home” was evocative.

Hell if I know.

The Nazis were rather fond of the term “Fatherland” and the Soviets of “Motherland”.

So maybe not facism, but nothing particulary free either. And it’s still creepy, kinda like those “secret” camps.

I still say it (“homeland”) just sounds hokey and not at all ominous. So we can all agree we don’t like it, just for different reasons. AFAIK the Germans still use vaterland, and unless they’ve changed their nation anthem, “einigsreicht und recht und freiheit, aus unseres vaterland…” (yeah, I’m sure I butchered that).

What is it we typically used? “Mother country”? Patria? Stateside?

As other have said: Yes, it does.

It reeks of nationalism and xenophobia.

Fascist (fatherland) or Communist (Mother Russia).

I’ve heard of “heart land”, but that usually refers to the Mid-West, doesn’t it? And I usually associate that with Chevy (“it’s the heartland of America…like a rock!”)

Well, it seems as if this one can’t stay in GQ. Hopefully the General Question was answered. So, let’s continue this massive hijack in MPSIMS.

samclem GQ moderator

What he(?) said.

Chiming in to agree that “homeland” gives me a creepy feeling. I would have been far, far more comfortable with something like “domestic”. To me, “homeland” just gives me this totalitarian feeling. Not how I like to think of the good ol’ US of A.

Another vote for both
“The term creeps me out.”

and for

“The term was not widely used prior to 9/11. The fact that it shows up in a single government security report prior to 9/11 is really irrelevant to whether or not it was widely used. Anyone who was an adult prior to 9/11 is as good a witnes as anything. This is not ancient history. Most of us were there to witness that this term was not widely used.”

It’s a word that is almost passable. At first innocuous, almost acceptable in its seeming ubiquity. But it is belied by a strong Germanic root. It is a sonicism that matches a peculiar psycholinguistic characteristic of English. It is strong and jingoistic.

I vote we rename it the All-Union People’s Extraordinary Commission for Securing the Motherland from Saboteurs and Wreckers, just to really screw with people’s heads.

Definately not commonly used prior to 9/11. Smacks of either facism (Third Reich) or Communism (Russia, China).

Homeland was widely commented upon at the time for ringing these bells.

Smacks of just plain 'ol totalitarianism.

Nothing new. My uncle was in the Coast Guard during WWII. He piloted landing craft in seven major landings in the Pacific. As he once told me, “They never told me which coast I would be guarding.”

Well, to hijack a hijack, I don’t know much about the historyof USCG deployment, but at least in recent years it has served in some ways as the Reserve and National Guard do, with a number of vessels being called up to serve in support roles for the Navy in the Persian Gulf. I believe that this happened in Vietnam, as well. In WWII, the USCG was involved in escorting convoys and conducting anti-submarine warfare against German U-Boats. Though the primary role for the Coast Guard is still mostly security in domestic waters, and they are seen mostly as a rescue/police service (and fairly reasonably as such), make no mistake; the USCG is a military service.

Um. Yeah, anyway…

“Homeland” - creepy creepy creepy creepy!


Sounds furrin’, you Commie.

It never sounded Fascist, to me, but it always sounded “not American,” as in “We don’t talk that way.”
To get to Fascism, I’d expect to use Fatherland.

IF there was an uncomfortable (as opposed to odd) feeling about it, it was the notion that it seemed to be also an ethnic expression: “Homeland, where our people are from.” (I suppose that one might create a tenuous link from “our people” to “we are a race of people, the American race” and then back to the Nazis or Fascists, but that never occurred to me.)

Reminds me of the trick clauses in my contracts for my old job. Right after the very specific job description: “and any other duties as assigned.”